Obviously there are a lot of really big problems with the times we’re living through, but when you compare our present to the reality of the 1800s, I’d take the year 2021 any day.

Don’t believe me? These 5 movies will convince you that living 200 years ago was no joke.

News of the World – Tom Hanks’ latest is now available through Redbox On Demand (and will be at the Box on March 23)! In it, he plays a former Confederate soldier who spends his post-war life traveling from town to town and serving as a News app for people. Meaning he literally reads them the news. But after he encounters a kidnapped girl who needs to be returned to her only living relatives, he goes into full dad mode in his mission to get her back to safety. The insane treachery they face on their journey will have you thanking your lucky stars we no longer travel by horse.

First Cow – This indie, which was a favorite among critics’ circles, explores the unlikely friendship between a cook (John Magaro) and a Chinese immigrant fugitive (Orion Lee) as they attempt to build a business together in 1820. It shows just how rough it was to have a comfortable life when the country was still being settled. (Real talk: you couldn’t survive as a fur-trapper.)

Glory – Denzel Washington gives an Oscar-winning performance in this true story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment — a Union Army regiment of Black soldiers that helped change the course of the Civil War. Also starring Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher, Matthew Broderick and Cary Elwes, it’s a grim reminder of the injustices Black soldiers suffered, and how much progress still needs to be made even today.

Little Women – In this latest (and perhaps greatest?) adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, we see the March sisters (played by Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen) come of age while all the men are off fighting the Civil War. And we’re reminded of how women weren’t supposed to do much except get married back then.

Emma – Maybe if you’re into Jane Austen novels or Bridgerton you might sometimes daydream about living back in the 1800s. But I’m here to remind you of corsets, the lack of plumbing and electricity, and really slooooowwwww modes of transportation. No thanks. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy living vicariously through the match-making mischief of Austen’s high-society title character, Emma (Anya Taylor-Joy, fresh off her Golden Globes win for The Queen’s Gambit).

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,